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First Man To Walk In Space Passes Away

I know at Trek Radio, We mainly focus on the world of Sci-Fi but without the real world of space exploration we would not have fact to go with our fiction.  We are saddened to report the passing of a space pioneer, Soviet-era cosmonaut Alexei Leonov, after a long illness according to a statement from Russia’s Roscosmos space agency. He was 85.

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Dubbed cosmonaut No. 11, Leonov conducted the First spacewalk on March 18, 1965, during the Voskhod 2 mission. He left the safety and confines of his spacecraft to float in space for 12 minutes and nine seconds, as his copilot, commander Pavel Belyayev, looked on.

“What remain etched in my memory was the extraordinary silence, my heart beating, and difficulty I had breathing,” Leonov recalled 50 years later in an interview with the Fédération Aéronautique Internationale

Leonov demonstrated that humans could indeed walk in space, but his walk wasn’t without challenges. His space suit began to swell eight minutes into his walk, and he ultimately had to drop the pressure in his suit in order to safely make his way back to the spacecraft.

Leonov was born in a small Siberian village in 1934 and was later selected to become part of an elite cadre of trailblazers—the first class of 20 cosmonauts—along with Yuri Gagarinh, the first man to fly to outer space. Leonov later headed up Russia’s division of the Soyuz-Apollo Test Project, which, in 1975, became the first joint space program between the United States and the Soviet Union.

Leonov was a decorated cosmonaut, and was twice awarded Russia’s highest honor, the Hero of the Soviet Union. After he retired from the space program, he went on to work in the private sector, penned awarding winning books, and became an accomplished painter. Several of his works were featured on Russian stamps.

Roscosmos announced the passing of his death in a tweet on Friday morning.

Twitter

NASA also paid tribute to the cosmonaut on Twitter.

Twitter

by Tia "Blind" Jenkins

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